In an interview with Al Jadeed news on Friday, Lebanon's tourism minister and deputy chairman of Tashnag (an Armenian political party) Avadis Kadanian responded to the controversy surrounding statements he made on MTV's Hadeeth El Balad (Talk of the Town) on Thursday.
"Let's make things clear, I am a Lebanese with Armenian roots, Lebanon is my home country," he said.
Kadanian's response comes after his comments on the TV show sparked outrage on social media and even led many to call for his resignation via the hashtag #كيدانيان_استقل (#KadanianResign).
Kadanian said that he does not feel the need to apologize because he "didn't do anything wrong." He also added that he would resign should an official resignation request be made.
The minister was attacked for saying that if he were asked to make a choice between Lebanon and Armenia, he would choose the latter. He was also criticized for comments he made about Turkey.
"I would not promote anything related to Turkey, none of their products, or establish relations with them. I cannot prevent Turks from coming to Lebanon, but I do not want to welcome them at an airport," he said.
Even though many were outraged by Kadanian's comments
"This hashtag should not stop until the minster of tourism resigns."
Many more supported his right to free speech
"Nothing he said deserves all this backlash, I applaud his honesty."
"If he were a foreign minister with Lebanese roots people would have applauded him for his honesty and for being loyal to his country."
"The majority of those who criticized Lebanon's minister of tourism Avadis Kadanian for saying that he would choose Armenia over Lebanon are people who dream of and seek immigration."